701 Enduro ABS Dongle Mod

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Some people love ABS and some loathe it, I’m firmly in the former camp.  I broke my arm on my driving test due to an overzealous handful of lever and have no desire to repeat that performance.  I know I can’t out-perform the machine, I will never be able to out perform the machine and I certainly can’t when panic-braking in an emergency situation.

The Tiger had all-singing, all dancing, mostly-a-pain-in-the-ass offroad mode traction control and ABS.  While the traction control was clearly designed for people who’s idea of going off the beaten track involves going to Cafe Nero instead of Starbucks the front-wheel only ABS mode was rather handy for a ham-fisted rider like myself.  So I got the ABS dongle for the 701 Enduro expecting it would work as it does on the 690 where the ABS mode depends on the position of the kill-switch when you turn the ignition on.  Kill-switch on, full ABS, switch off front wheel only and full disable with the big button next to the speedo.

Nope.  The genius interface designers at Husqvarna decided it would be vastly more convenient that with the ABS dongle connected you get two modes – front wheel only or no ABS at all.  Want to switch back to full ABS for some street riding?  No problem sir/madam!  Just remove your tank bag, loosen one tank bag strap, pop off the two poppers which hold the seat on at the front, pull the cable to release the seat at the back, pull the seat out from under the tank bag holder, dig around your battery box, find the dongle connector, stick a screwdriver in it to release the catch, pull it apart, re-fit the blanking plug you already lost in the garage somewhere, put the seat back on, reattach your luggage properly and ride on.  Great design.  No hassle at all really.  But for some strange reason I decided to install a switch to make the process fractionally more convenient, not that I am suggesting I know better than the master human-machine-interface experts at Husqvarna, of course.

It’s an easy mod, but in the interests of information sharing – here it how it’s done.  There are no modifications to the vehicle wiring needed, the only thing you strictly need to modify is the ABS dongle itself, so no warranty issues* or risk of breaking something important**.

Remove your ABS dongle from the OBD port and with the ignition on use a multimeter between earth/neutral and each pin to establish which connector is switched live, as in the picture picture below. Kill the ignition and the voltage should drop to zero. This isn’t strictly necessary if you don’t have a multi meter – all OBD ports on all 701s should be identical, you can probably just follow the instructions here but obviously if you cut the wrong cable it’s not my fault! Or you can use a bulb on a wire.

Once you have established which cable from the OBD port is switched live you can find the corresponding cable on your ABS dongle by comparing the layout of the pins between the OBD port and the dingle connector, on mine it was orange.  As above – please don’t just chop the orange one, check it, your cable colours or degree of colourblindness may vary.

Chop this cable and take a brief test ride with the dongle connected, all being well you will get full ABS front and rear, no lights flashing on the dash.

Splice into this cable a two-pole switch, a relay or whatever takes your fancy to control it and locate that switch wherever want.  I’m simple, I used a cheap 5 euro automotive switch from Amazon and mounted it on the left hand side of my now fairly crowded headlight box, underneath my Powerlet socket which feeds my tank bag.  It’s easy to reach and somewhat protected from the elements.  With the switch on (closed) you will get a slow flashing ABS light, indicating front wheel ABS only.  With the switch off (open) you will get full ABS as if the dongle isn’t connected.  In either mode you can switch ABS off completely with a long press of the ABS light/button.

  • *I am not a lawyer.  I cannot promise this will not void your warranty.  Although if your dealer really tries that shit please tell the world.
  • **I am not an engineer.  This could break something important.  I can’t see how, but it’s theoretically possible.
  • Update – 2018.  I have relocated the switch to a small bracket near the battery tray, reducing the length of the cable run.  I now have a Rade fairing, so may relocate it again into the dash.
  • Updates –  2020.  Relocated the images from the old blog to here.  I’ve also moved the switch into the R/G fairing.

11 Replies to “701 Enduro ABS Dongle Mod”

  1. Hi Tim,

    I intend to fix the dongle problem with a switch like you did. I asked at Husqvarna (I have the 701 from 2018) for the colour of the ground/earth cable (as I intend to place the switch there) and they told me its the brown one – not the orange one. Do you happen to know what the function of the orange cable is?
    all the best


    1. Lothar, i am sorry to say that all I did on each cable was to put in a pin and test between that and earth to establish what cable was the live cable.

      If there’s a difference in the pin out on the new model can you let me know? I’ll update the post.

  2. Does this work to switch ABS on and off “on the fly”, or do you have to stop and cycle the ignition switch off and on to make it work?

    1. Noel,

      The unfortunate truth is that I can’t really tell you. I never tried turning it off on the fly; I always killed the ignition, flicked the switch and turned back on. I’m pretty confident that if you flicked the switch with the ignition on the ECU would get confused and just kill ABS completely. Once I have the bike back on the road I can test it – the flash code on the ABS light should tell me if the ABS system is full on, full off, half-on or in a fault mode.

  3. Thanks Tim. Hope spring and “Corona Spring” comes soon for you. I just saw your post on the zoom switch. Amazing how many of my interests seem to parallel yours!

  4. I have just installed the R/G fairing and aux tank. During installation, I pre-wired a pair of 2in1 insulated cables from the rear electronics to the tower in preparation for the ABS dongle switch and 1 for the throttle switch on 2016 models. Do you happen to have a ‘16 and have you delved into moving the switch to the tower. It’s a rotary switch with around 10 positions each with ascending/descending levels of resistance. I happen to have the matching waterproof 2-pin connectors that plug right in. I guess my question is have you looked into this? And more so found a higher quality switch or solution. I believe there are only 3-4 useful resistances that are usable with the ride by wire. #2 is the most sensitive, #1 standard feel, #3 is really smooth/slow (I believe for reducing wheel spin or poor gas)
    Let me know what you know, thanks

    1. Steven, I’ve not relocated the switch but that’s only because when I got the bike I got the Husqvarna handlebar mounted mode switch as a freebie from the dealer. It lets be switch between what’s set under the seat and standard mode, which is enough for me – truth is that in 4 years I think I’ve only switched it once or twice!

      There was someone on ADV who made a few bar mounted switches that gave you three of the modes. Standard, Advanced and Soft. Bad fuel mode still would have needed you to pop the seat.

      If I was to do something with the map switch in the future I’d just relocate it to the fairing, probably somewhere tucked out of the way. I’d keep the handlebar switch in place. Then set the main dial appropriately for the kind of day I’m having, a rally would probably have my second mode set to Soft, for slippy stuff. A day on the road and I’d set to advanced.

      Not sure any of that rambling is any use to you. I guess I could have just said “No, never looked into it.” but I’ll take any excuse to waffle! 😀

  5. Any chance you could post resistance values or other information for the dongle so that one could be made instead of bought?

    1. Mike, I won’t have the bike until late January now. So the information you seek will be a long time coming. There is every possibility that it’s like the side stand dongle though – more complex than a set resistance. The sidestand dongle is a signal generator.

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